Supporting skills and talent

The development and movement of talented people and their ideas is critical to the success of the UK research and innovation system, enabling them to have dynamic, diverse careers that drive societal and economic benefits.

Key principles

Inspiring, supporting and developing the diversity of people who work, or aspire to work, in research and innovation is integral to good research practice.

There are strong interdependencies between support and training, as well as areas such as public engagement, research integrity, open research and research culture. We consider these aspects holistically to build an environment that enables all people to reach their potential.

That’s because people are key to a flourishing and interconnected research and innovation system. The training and support we provide recognises this driver of connectivity, and empowers people to progress their careers and engage with different sectors.

General policies and guidance

Guidance and support for researchers

Alongside our grant terms and conditions, we have set out the common principles for supporting the people we fund.

Our statement of expectations for postgraduate training describes the principles UKRI, Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation expect for the training of postgraduate students.

Our statement of expectations for research fellowships and future research leaders clarifies our expectations of research organisations, research fellows and our councils for investing in and supporting the next generation of research leaders.

The Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers is a framework co-created in consultation with the sector, providing a consensus view of the support and development needs of researchers.

It sets out obligations for research funders, employers, line managers and researchers themselves to support the professional and career development of researchers in a higher education environment.

Find out more about the concordat.

UKRI is a signatory of the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers. We have published an action plan to meet our concordat obligations as a research funder.

Read UKRI’s funder action plan to support the career development of researchers (PDF, 6MB).

Read AHRC’s Statement of Commitment to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

Researchers are an essential part of the research and innovation system. As part of our concordat action plan, we have recently convened the UKRI Early Career Researcher Forum, to strengthen the voice of early career researchers in developing our policy and strategy.

Guidance and support for technicians

The Technician Commitment is a cross-sector initiative to improve the visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability of technical careers in higher education.

We are a signatory to the commitment, which is our pledge to address key challenges and champion technicians.

Find out more about the Technician commitment.

As part of this activity we have published a Technician Commitment action plan.

Our plan outlines the steps we will take to empower both the technicians that we support through funding and those we employ directly. It also sets out how we will work with research organisations to ensure that they effectively support their staff.

Read the UKRI Technician Commitment action plan (PDF, 3MB).

Read the MRC Harwell Technician Commitment action plan.

Read the STFC Technician Commitment action plan (PDF, 124KB).

We also have the legacy RCUK statement of expectations for technology and skills specialists, which continues to apply to technicians, their organisations and our councils.

For any questions regarding the content of the page, please contact talent@ukri.org

Last updated: 14 September 2021

NOTE Council web content is being transitioned to this website – let us know if you have feedback or would like to help us test new developments.